General Info > News Releases > Archived Releases 2008-09 > 2009-05-28: Hewlett Leaders Recognizes Mendocino College

MENDOCINO COLLEGE, 1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
Contact:           Chris Snyder, Media Assistant
T: 707-468-3098 or 707-489-5699, Fax: 707-467-1023
File: – Hewlett Leaders Recognizes Mendocino College
Hewlett Leaders Recognizes Mendocino College
Ukiah, CA – Mendocino College is one of only three California Community Colleges to be recognized by the Hewlett Foundation as a Hewlett Leader in Student Success for its work in basic skills. Each year roughly half a million new students enroll in community colleges, but at least 70 percent are not prepared for college level coursework.  (Got this from the OC / Canyons article)
Along with Mendocino College, Chaffey College and College of the Canyons were honored as 2009 Hewlett Leaders.  Award-winners were announced Friday, May 8 in Sacramento.
“This is fantastic recognition for Mendocino College and for all rural California colleges. People are beginning to realize that we do wonderful things here at Mendocino College,” Mendocino-Lake Community College District Superintendent/President Kathy Lehner said.
Mendocino College was awarded $15,000 from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to be used to hold a conference or otherwise provide opportunities to share our successful programs with other community colleges (email from Kathy). In June, a videographer will visit the Mendocino College campus to prepare a short video presentation to be shown in San Francisco at an upcoming statewide conference.
Hewlett Leaders in Student Success annually recognizes up to four California community colleges that are using innovative and proven methods in foundational math and English.
As Co-chairs of the Mendocino College Foundation Skills Teaching and Learning Community, Instructional Dean Virginia Guleff and English Faculty member Debra Polak have been working to implement the statewide Basic Skills Initiative (BSI).
The BSI, funded by the California Community College Chancellor’s office is designed to help underprepared students master the skills required for success in transfer-level courses, those in which students can earn credit toward an associate or bachelor’s degree.
Hewlett Leaders selected Mendocino College for a number of elements that support student success.  These include a broad outreach effort to the area’s Spanish-speaking community, a Math Institute, and academic support modeled on the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program.  
Mendocino College’s outreach toward the Spanish-Speaking community included creating and hiring a new full-time faculty position in English as a Second Language (ESL). As the new hire, Sarah Walsh has started offering courses closer to students’ homes at Grace Hudson Elementary School and St. Mary’s Church. Also, she has developed new ESL curriculum to reach out to new students. Within a year, enrollment has doubled in ESL classes.
A Math Institute offered by Mendocino College before the beginning of each semester gives students an intensive review of the concepts and skills needed for success.  
Extensive academic support modeled on the MESA program is available to all students in basic skills math classes.
Mendocino College has also been engaged in new forums for professional development, including Teacher Institutes each semester and an annual conference designed to promote collaboration among secondary and post secondary educators in the Mendocino and Lake County Regions.
More information about Hewlett Leaders and Mendocino College can be found by visiting or
Chris Snyder
Mendocino College
1000 Hensley Creek Road
Ukiah, CA 95482
(707) 468-3098

Created: May 28, 2009 @ 11:15 AM
Last Modified: May 28, 2009 @ 11:16 AM


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